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March 28, 2012

PGA of America Hires Five New Player Development Regional Managers

-Press Release, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

As a major component of the industry-wide Golf 2.0 initiative to grow participation in the game, The PGA of America has indentified five additional PGA Player Development Regional Managers – bringing the total to nine – in strategic markets across the country. The new Regional Managers, who will serve the Atlanta, Washington, Phoenix, Dallas and Seattle markets, are charged with implementing strategies, initiatives and programs to expand the reach of golf amongst current and potential players.

The new PGA Player Development Regional Managers:

  • Michael Aldrich, PGA – Washington: In his four years as PGA assistant professional at the private River Bend Golf & Country Club in Great Falls, Va., Aldrich displayed a propensity for player development. In 2011, he grew junior participation at the 475-member facility by 22 percent by introducing the PGA Sports Academy and adapting programs to fit the busy lives of today’s youth. Prior to joining River Bend, Aldrich spent three years as PGA head professional at Poolsville (Md.) Golf Course, where rounds grew by 28 percent under his watch.
  • Daryl Batey, PGA – Atlanta: A 12-year PGA member, Batey serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia PGA Section as the Chairman of the Education Committee. Batey spent the last decade-plus as PGA head professional at Charlie Yates Golf Course at East Lake in Atlanta, Ga., home course for The First Tee of East Lake. To round out his busy schedule, Batey was also the head golf coach at Spelman College and oversaw the golf education programs at Emory University and Agnes Scott College – all three in the Atlanta area.
  • Bob Doyle, PGA – Phoenix: PGA Master Professional Bob Doyle brings a plethora of experience and leadership skills to the table as the Regional Player Development Manager in the Phoenix market. Doyle’s career in golf began in 1979 as an assistant professional at Flatirons Country Club in Boulder, Colo. He is owner and operator of Bob Doyle Golf Inc., where he provides consulting and golf management services to clients such as GolfTEC, Riverdale Golf Course and Atira Golf. A former Colorado PGA Section president, Doyle served three years as District 9 Director on the PGA Board of Directors and as a member of nine national PGA committees in the last 14 years.
  • Chuck Higgins, PGA – Dallas: Chuck Higgins is an equity partner and manager of administrative affairs at Keeton Park Golf Course in Dallas, Texas, where he’s partnered with fellow PGA Professional Tony Martinez. Higgins served as chairman of the Tournament Committee and sits on the Junior Golf Committee for the Northern Texas PGA Section, which has allowed him to develop a strong network of PGA Professionals throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
  • Monte Koch, PGA – Seattle: The 2011 PGA Golf Professional of the Year in the Northern California PGA Section, Monte Koch brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the family of Regional Player Development Managers. A former Section Officer the Northern California PGA Section, Koch was the chairman of the Section’s Growth of the Game Committee. Now a member of the Pacific Northwest Section, he’s orchestrated many successful player development initiatives over the years such as “Welcome to Golf” program for beginning golfers, hosting events for local members of the Executive Women’s Golf Association and a unique growth of the game event at Willie Mays Plaza at AT&T Park, in conjunction with the San Francisco Giants.

The market selections are based upon internal research that highlights each region among the highest in the country for demand to play and a return to the game. The four previously announced regional managers, all who are PGA Professionals, are Brian Bain (Boston), Frank Chieppa (Chicago), Nikki Gatch (Southern California) and Jonathan Gold (New York). PGA Player Development Regional Managers will work in conjunction with the 12 existing PGA Employment Consultants in support of these markets nationwide.

In an effort to ensure full-time oversight, management and leadership of the Regional Player Development Manager department, The PGA of America has hired Rich Richeson, PGA, as the newly-created Player Development National Manager . Richeson was National Project Manager with American Golf and orchestrated development of the Nike Golf Learning Centers. His focus on player development continued beyond this tenure with American Golf to include his most recent position as general manager at Charlotte Golf Links and director of the Carolina Trail Golf Learning Center with IRI Golf Management.

Through these positions, Richeson was responsible for the development and opening of five Carolina Trail Learning Centers in 2011, which through August had already created 600 new golfers for IRI facilities. The position will be responsible for leading the team of Player Development Regional Managers with the implementation and activation of strategies, initiatives and programming to include the development of semi-annual and annual plans by each manager and target market.

“The PGA of America is excited to attract high-caliber, energetic individuals to support our growth-of-the game efforts,” said Joe Steranka, chief executive officer of The PGA of America. “They will be responsible for helping the golf industry drive, promote and develop innovative initiatives that reach out to golfers in diverse markets nationwide. By their efforts, we will expand our outreach to women, minorities and junior golfers, underscoring golf as a game for everyone.”

Each PGA Player Development Manager will also provide support to allied associations throughout the golf industry, as well as deliver education to facilities and businesses in support of initiatives and events to promote the game to new audiences.

To learn more about these positions, visit the PGA Employment Center at: PGA.com/employment.

About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.